10 Best Italian Film Stars

Friday, April 8 by Honora James

If you enjoy watching actors in films portray an array of emotions in their performances, then the 10 best Italian film stars should be a part of your movie collection. Read on and see if you agree.

  1. Robert Benigni. Not only is this Italian film star acknowledged as an accomplished comedic actor and writer in his native country, Benigni has also been awarded Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Screenplay for the movie “Life is Beautiful.” Movie fans around the world are grateful to Italy for sharing their national treasure.
  2. Sophia Loren. Loren, is not only among the 10 best Italian film stars, she is a movie icon. This Academy Award winning Italian film star has starred opposite such leading men as Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Alan Ladd, and Cary Grant.
  3. Marcello Mastroianni. Mastroianni is an Italian film star whose early life had episodic events as surreal as some of his film roles. As an escapee from a German prison during WWII, Mastroianni fled to Venice, Italy, and it was there his acting career began. Mastroianni attained some notoriety in Italy, but he gained international fame in the Frederico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita.” During his multi-decade film career, Mastroianni appeared in three films that received Academy Award nominations, “Divorce-Italian Style, “A Special Day, and “Dark Eyes.”
  4. Franco Nero. Nero has brought to life on the movie screen such characters as the biblical Abel to an English knight, from a gay ship captain to an Italian western cowboy, and stamped each with his own persona. Nero has shown that he is an actor capable in either a lead or supporting role.
  5. Gina Lollobrigida. Lollobrigida took the same route to stardom as Sophia Loren; modeling, beauty contests, and then acting. In addition to being a film star, Lollobrigida is also an established photographer, sculptor, painter, and cosmetics corporate executive.
  6. Giancarlo Gianni. This Italian Renaissance man is a multilingual actor on stage, screen and television, and has a degree in electronics. Gianni’s ability to speak multiple languages has landed him roles in such films as, “Hannibal,” A Walk in the Clouds,” and “Man on Fire.”
  7. Vittorio Gassman. Gassman is an Italian actor of film, television, and–his first love–the theatre. Although, Gassman has made movies in America, his greatest success was in Europe.  Gassman received two Cannes Film Festival Awards for Best Actor; 1974, “Profumo di donna, and 1989, “Lozio indegno. Gassman, also founded the prestigious theatre company, Teatro Popolare Italiano.   
  8. Anna Magnani. A word usually associated with Magnani was earthiness. Perhaps growing up in poverty stripped away all sense of pretense leaving an authentic Anna, and equipping her play powerful female leads in, “Teresa Venerdi,” “Roma, Cittá Aperta,” and ”Bellissima.”
  9. Albert Sordi. Sordi was known in Italy as a renowned actor, director, and the dubbed voice of Oliver Hardy of the Laurel and Hardy movies. Outside Italy, Sordi was awarded Golden Globe Awards for performances in “II Diavolo,” and “To Bed or Not to Bed.”
  10. Ugo Tognazzi. Tognozzi’s theatrical career spanned five decades, as an actor, director, and screenwriter.  In 1981, Tognazzi won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his performance in “La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo.” 

From bygone days, Italy gave the world the Colosseum in Rome, the leaning tower of Pisa, and Micheangelo’s “The Last Supper,” and centuries later it has given us the 10 best Italian film stars.  Grazie.

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